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ASERT has compiled resources for those with autism and those who care for people with autism relating to the current COVID-19 outbreak.

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Be Safe: Intervention Resources for Individuals with Autism

Overview

These resources are designed to provide information and tips on how to provide support to individuals with autism who may have experienced sexual abuse or assault. There are general resources that are appropriate for all ages and developmental levels, as well as specific resources for caregivers, professionals and individuals with autism.

Important Tips and Reminders

If you have experienced sexual abuse or assault: Tell someone.

If you have experienced sexual abuse or assault that no one else knows about, it’s very important that you tell someone about what is happening. Many times, sexual offenders will tell you that the abuse/assault is a secret. This is not true. You always have the right to tell someone you trust. These are some tips for telling about sexual abuse and assault. Telling is the first step in making the abuse or assault come to an end.

  • Choose people who are likely to believe and support you
  • People who support you often will want to help you report what has happened to law enforcement
  • Some individuals, such as care providers, are called “mandatory reporters” and are required by law to report sexual abuse and assault
  • Try to find a time when you can tell the other person in private and when the other person has time to listen and help you come up with a plan for ending the abuse/assault
  • If the person you tell does not believe you or does not help you stop the abuse or assault, keep telling until someone believes you and helps
  • If a person is touching your private parts, use appropriate names for those parts. Private parts are parts of the body covered by bathing suits, including penis, vagina, breasts, buttocks
  • Telling what happened may be stressful – plan to do something to cope with emotions and take care of yourself after you tell

English

Staying Safe

  • Remember that you are important:  You deserve respect and help when you need it.
  • Know that your body belongs to you: You decide who touches you or does anything to your body.
  • Be assertive: Say no if you do not like something that someone is doing to your body.
  • Ask for help if you need it: Identify someone that you trust. If you need help with your safety or feel uncomfortable about anything with your body, tell that person.
  • Don’t blame yourself: If someone hurts you, it is not your fault – you always deserve to be treated well and with respect.
  • Say Yes to fun, friends, and connection: Be connected to your family, friends, neighbors, or community groups, like volunteering or church groups – check in with your friends and tell them how you are doing.
  • Know your rights: Learn about your rights and about services for people with autism.
  • Be a leader: Show other people that you respect yourself and be a role model to others.

What to Do if You are Being Abused

  • Tell: Let supportive and trusted people in your life know what is happening and how you are feeling.
  • Reach out: Seek help from a service provider, someone in your school, work, or community and ask for help about what to do next. See the resource “Linking to Services” for more information.
  • Make a plan: Identify who you can contact and what you can do if you see the abuser again or if you are abused again in the future.

How to Tell About Abuse

  • Identify a person to tell if someone hurts you. This might be a parent, a family member, a friend, a therapist, someone at your school, or someone you work with.
  • Keep telling until someone does something to stop the abuse.

Russian

КАК ОБЕЗОПАСИТЬ СЕБА

  • Помните о том, что ваша жизнь важна: Вы важны. Вы заслуживаете уважения и имеете право получить помощь тогда, когда в ней нуждаетесь.
  • Помните, что ваше тело принадлежит только вам: Только вы решаете, кто прикасается к вам или делает что-либо с вашим телом.
  • Будьте решительны: Если вам не нравится то, что кто-либо делает с вашим телом, вы должны сказать «нет».
  • Попросите о помощи, если вы в ней нуждаетесь: Выберите человека, которому доверяете. Если вы опасаетесь за свою безопасность и нуждаетесь в помощи, или же если вас беспокоит что-либо, связанное с вашим телом — поделитесь своими опасениями с этим человеком.
  • Не вините себя: Если кто-либо причиняет вам боль, в этом нет вашей вины; вы заслуживаете, чтобы с вами всегда обращались хорошо и уважительно.
  • Скажите «ДА» веселью, друзьям и общению: Поддерживайте связь со своими родными, друзьями, соседями, или же общественными группами, например с волонтерскими или церковными организациями; регулярно связывайтесь с ними и сообщайте, как у вас идут дела.
  • Знайте свои права: Узнайте, какими правами вы обладаете, и на какие услуги могут рассчитывать люди, страдающие аутизмом.
  • Будьте лидером: Покажите другим, что уважаете себя; станьте примером для подражания.

ЧТО ДЕЛАТЬ, ЕСЛИ К ВАМ ПРИМЕНИЛИ НАСИЛИЕ

  • Расскажите о том, что происходит: Сообщите тем людям, которые вас поддерживают и которым вы доверяете, что происходит с вами и какие чувства вы испытываете.
  • Обратитесь за помощью: Попросите о помощи специалиста, школьного учителя, коллегу или общественного работника, и попросите посоветовать, что вам делать дальше. Для получения дополнительной информации см. ресурс «Направление к специалисту».
  • Составьте план: Решите, с кем вы можете поговорить и что можете сделать, если вновь увидите злоумышленника, или если акт насилия вновь повторится.

КАК РАССКАЗАТЬ О ФАКТЕ НАСИЛИЯ

  • Выберите человека, которому вы можете рассказать о том, что вас обижают. Это может быть родитель, член семьи, друг, врач, школьный учитель или ваш коллега.
  • Продолжайте говорить до тех пор, пока не будут предприняты какие-либо меры.

Chinese

保持安全

  • 请记住,您很重要: 您很重要。您理应在您需要的时候获得 尊重和帮助。
  • 明白您的身体属于您自己: 您决定谁可以触碰您或是对您的身体做任何事。
  • 做到有主张: 如果您不喜欢某个人正在对您的身体做的某件 事,果敢地拒绝。
  • 在您需要时寻求帮助: 识别某个您所信赖的人。如果您在安全方面需要 帮助,或是对您身体有关的任何事感到不舒服, 告诉这个人。
  • 不要责怪您自己: 如果某个人伤害了您,这不是您的错—— 您始终 值得善待和尊重。
  • 对乐趣、朋友和有关联之人和物说“好”: 与您的家人、朋友、邻居或是社区团体(比如志 愿者或教会团体)建立联系—— 和您的朋友保持 联系并告诉他们您的近况。
  • 了解您的权利: 了解您的权利以及为自闭症患者提供的服务。
  • 成为领导者: 让别人看到您尊重您自己,并成为其他人的榜 样。

如果您现在受到虐待,应该 怎么做

  • 讲述:让您的生活中支持您的和您所 信赖的人知道正在发生的事以及您的 感受。
  • 寻求帮助:向服务提供者或是您的学 校、工作或社区中的某个人寻求帮 助,并寻求关于后续行动的帮助。参 见资源“服务连接”以了解更多信 息。
  • 制定计划:确定在您未来再次见到施 虐者或是遭受虐待的情况下可以联系 的人以及可以采取的行动。

如何讲述虐待

  • 有人伤害您时告诉一个您能辨认的人。这个人可以是父 母、家庭成员、朋友、治疗师、您学校里的某个人,或 是与您共事的某个人。
  • 不断讲述,直到有人做出阻止虐待行为。

Spanish

PROTÉGETE:

  • Recuerda que eres importante.
    Tú eres importante. Mereces respeto y ayuda cuando la necesitas.
  • Ten presente que tu cuerpo es tuyo.
    Tú decides quién puede tocarte o hacerle cualquier cosa a tu cuerpo.
  • Sé asertivo.
    Di “no” si no te gusta lo que alguien le está haciendo a tu cuerpo.
  • Pide ayuda si la necesitas.
    Identifica a alguien en quien confíes. Si necesitas ayuda para protegerte o te sientes incómodo por algo que tenga que ver con tu cuerpo, cuéntaselo a esa persona.
  • No te culpes a ti mismo.
    Si alguien te hace daño, no es tu culpa; mereces que te traten bien y te respeten siempre.
  • Di “SÍ” a la diversión, los amigos y a relacionarte.
    Relaciónate con tu familia, tus amigos, tus vecinos o grupos comunitarios, como los grupos de voluntariado o de la iglesia; mantente en contacto con tus amigos y cuéntales cómo te va.
  • Conoce tus derechos.
    Aprende cuáles son tus derechos y averigua qué servicios están disponibles para las personas que tienen autismo.
  • Sé un líder.
    Demuéstrale a los demás que te respetas a ti mismo y sé un ejemplo para otras personas.

QUÉ HACER SI ABUSAN DE TI:

  • Cuéntalo: Habla con las personas de tu vida que te apoyan y en las que confías y cuéntales lo que te está pasando y cómo te sientes.
  • Busca ayuda: Contacta a un proveedor de servicios o a alguna persona de tu escuela, trabajo o comunidad, y pídele que te ayude a decidir qué debes hacer. Consulta el recurso “Cómo contactar a servicios” para para obtener más información.
  • Haz un plan: Identifica a quién puedes contactar y qué puedes hacer si te encuentras otra vez con el abusador o si en el futuro
    vuelven a abusar de ti.

CÓMO CONTAR EL ABUSO:

  • Identifica a la persona a la que se lo vas a contar si alguien te hace daño. Puede ser uno de tus padres, un familiar, un amigo, un terapeuta, alguien de tu escuela o alguien con
    quien trabajas.
  • Sigue contándolo hasta que alguien haga algo para detener el abuso.

Common Feelings People Have After Sexual Assault or Abuse

You may feel sad, scared, lonely, mad, embarrassed or fearful of the person who hurt you. You may also feel love or anger at the person who hurt you.

Coping With Feelings

It’s normal to experience many different feelings following sexual assault or abuse. It’s important to identify ways for coping with feelings, learn the difference between ways to cope that help and ways to cope that are less helpful.

Some common helpful ways of coping with feelings include:

  • Listen to music
  • Exercise
  • Count to 10 and take some deep breaths
  • Talk to a friend or family member
  • Take time to be alone
  • Relax/take part in a pleasurable activity
  • Express your emotions by crying,
  • laughing, talking to a friend, etc.

When you practice coping with feelings, pay attention to how it made you feel. If a coping strategy was helpful, you’ll feel better afterward. If you still feel bad, it may not work well, and you should try other coping strategies. It’s good to have more than one way to cope, so try a few different ways and find what works best for you.

Prevention of Future Assault/Risk Reduction

  • Improve your knowledge about sex and sexuality
  • Tell people when you feel uncomfortable or want their behavior to change
  • Develop your own rules for personal space and privacy, always tell people to stop when they have broken these rules
  • Know the signs of abuse, tell someone you trust if you think abuse might be happening to you

Remember:

Abuse is never the victim’s fault. The offender is always to blame for the abuse.

Coping skills are ways to handle stress and big feelings that you may have after experiencing sexual abuse or assault. If someone has abused you, you may feel:

  • Grumpy or Bothered
  • Angry
  • Sad
  • Tired all the time
  • Confused
  • Worried or Nervous

You May Also Feel:

  • Like you no longer care about things that used to be important.
  • Like it’s hard NOT to think about the abuse.
  • Like you want to avoid everything and everyone that reminds you of the abuse.

Finding ways to help cope with these feelings may be hard, but is very important.

Learn to identify your feelings. Practice naming the emotions you feel, understand what happens in your body when you feel different emotions and how different people, places, and things lead you to feel different emotions.

Tell the people who care about you, like family and trusted friends, about your feelings

  • Watch TV or a movie
  • Color or draw
  • Listen to music
  • Write in a diary
  • Take some time to be alone
  • Play with pets

It may also help to talk to a therapist or counselor who can help you learn about your feelings and solving problems that lead to negative feelings.

Remember it’s never your fault that you were abused!

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Other downloads

Name Description Type File
Be Safe: Intervention for Individuals Tips for Telling About Abuse or Assault pdf Download file: Be Safe: Intervention for Individuals
Be Safe: Intervention for Individuals Self-Advocacy and Self-Disclosure pdf Download file: Be Safe: Intervention for Individuals
Be Safe: Intervention for Individuals Coping Skills After Experiencing Sexual Assault or Abuse pdf Download file: Be Safe: Intervention for Individuals
Be Safe: Intervention for Individuals Coping Skills for Sexual Abuse pdf Download file: Be Safe: Intervention for Individuals
Be Safe: Intervention for Individuals Self-Advocacy and Self-Disclosure – Russian pdf Download file: Be Safe: Intervention for Individuals
Be Safe: Intervention for Individuals Self-Advocacy and Self-Disclosure – Chinese pdf Download file: Be Safe: Intervention for Individuals
Be Safe: Intervention for Individuals Self-Advocacy and Self-Disclosure - Spanish pdf Download file: Be Safe: Intervention for Individuals

This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or info@PAautism.org. ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.